Muhammadu Buhari last night
expressed disappointment over the attack on him by the
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom.
President Buhari also expressed his condolences to the
families of Nigerians citizens who lost their loved ones in
the recent spate of killings in the state.
The President in a statement issued by his Senior Special
Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu in
Abuja stated that the rising levels of incidents,
especially the killings and violence in various parts of the
country calls for further collaboration with security agencies
to curb its recurrence.
According to the statement, “He (President Buhari) also
states his disappointment and sadness to hear Samuel
Ortom, the Governor of Benue State make a litany of
accusations against his person and his government
following the recent unfortunate incidents in the state.
” No responsible government takes pleasure in such events
as the killing of the military and that of innocent citizens
taking refuge in an Internally Displaced People’s camp.
“President Buhari is deeply pained by the terrible acts of
violence happening not only in Benue State but also in other
parts of the country and expects that the law enforcement
agencies will go to every possible extent to catch the
perpetrators of these heinous acts and bring them to
“The lives of fellow citizens should not be desecrated by
deploying them in political diatribe which unfortunately
appeared to be the intent of the string of emotional attacks
and blame laid at the doors of the President for those
killings by Governor Ortom.”
The statement said that President Buhari took an oath to
defend the life and property of every citizen, a duty he takes
seriously and is committed to ensuring.
” Those citizens regardless of their affiliations, who either
incite, sponsor or are proven to be abettors of these
atrocities will face the law squarely and be answerable for
their crimes against our fellow citizens and nation.
” President Buhari continuously stresses that the strength of
our country lies in our diversity in faith, culture, and
traditions and attempts to sharpen the divide between
northern and southern Nigeria, between Muslims and
Christians, and between communities that have coexisted
for centuries should be frowned upon and resisted.
“As Nigerians, we accuse colonial rulers of the policy of
divide and rule. Today, it is our own leaders who put region
against region, religion against religion, ethnic group against
ethnic group and community against community.
” The future of Benue State and indeed that of the entire
country lies in harmony and the respect for law, order, and
the constitution. It is the only way to achieve progress and
” While the President will continue to keep security, police
and the armed forces on their toes to be on top of their act
in troubled parts of the country, the situation in the states
will greatly be helped by everyone working together because
that is the foundation on which progress and prosperity can
It further said, ” Benue under the Ortom administration
ought to cooperate with the Federal Government in the
implementation of a number of national strategies programs
in addressing underlying issues militating against peace,
progress and development.
” This can still get done when the interest of the people is
placed above all other interests. A government voted into
office by the people, should treat the people as its masters
and not as its servants.”